Understanding the different tenses in English is important, because you need to know when to use each one. Whether you are learning English for the first time or are an advanced student, you could probably benefit from brushing up on your use of the various English tenses.
Classifications of English Tenses
The tenses in English are defined as follows:
- Simple present
- Present progressive
- Simple past
- Past progressive
- Simple present perfect
- Present perfect progressive
- Past perfect progressive
- Simple past perfect
- Future progressive
- Simple future progressive
- Future perfect progressive
- Conditional simple
- Conditional progressive
- Conditional perfect
- Conditional perfect progressive
Examples of the Different Tenses
- He sings.
- I eat.
- She draws.
- I am running.
- They are going to the store.
- The class is learning about mathematics today.
- I drew a picture.
- Kelly rode a bike.
- Jackson started college in January.
- He was working on his art thesis all day long.
- The first grade class was absolutely loving the zoo.
- Kyle and Peter were eating seafood last night.
Simple Present Perfect
- He hasn't learned.
- I have gone.
- I haven't eaten in three days.
Present Perfect Progressive
- She has been going to the gym for three weeks.
- They have been writing a poem for the past month.
- The children have been waiting for Christmas all year.
Past Perfect Progressive
- He hadn't been working for three years before the company sought him out.
- Carla hadn't been going to the gym since she lost a lot of weight through dieting.
- Jonathan hadn't been studying for the examination; therefore, he failed the test.
Simple Past Perfect
- The class had worked really hard on their final project for the year.
- She had liked the movie, until she read the description of what it was really about.
- Katherine hadn't enjoyed the ice cream that her friend made at home.
- We will sign up for classes next Tuesday.
- They will try out the new restaurant the next time that they go into the city.
- The soccer team will practice harder so that they have a better chance of winning their next game.
- He will be working next Tuesday.
- They will be learning about the environment in class next Tuesday.
- Jessica's baseball team will be winning every game.
Simple Future Progressive
- I won't have walked around the park this weekend.
- They will not have gone to the store by Sunday.
- He won't have gone.
Future Perfect Progressive
- I'll have been working for seven hours come three o clock.
- He'll have been running for three hours in a few minutes.
- She'll have been studying for five hours by the time the test rolls around.
- I would try.
- She would go.
- He would run.
- They would be running.
- She would be cooking.
- He would be lying.
- He would have sang.
- She would have cried.
- The basketball team would have practiced.
Conditional Perfect Progressive
- He would have been going to the store, if a hurricane did not start.
- The child would have been going to the movies, if she hadn't gotten punished.
- The group would have gotten a perfect score on their project, if they had put in just a little bit more effort.
If you are still having difficulties understanding the different English tenses, you should consider talking with a grammar teacher or reading some grammar guides here on YourDictionary.com.